Perhaps the worst of every dog owner’s fear is the lost dog. We train them, spend time with them, and love them, but every so often, they manage to escape our grasp. They may see something interesting, perhaps a squirrel or cat racing down the street, or even happen into the wrong hands of a thief. Unfortunately, any case of a lost companion is nothing to look forward to, which is why we take precautions.
Leashes, tags and collars are not enough
But, sometimes leashes and tags aren’t enough to keep track of your dog. Though they can be inexpensive and still useful, collars can be removed, or even escaped (some dogs are clever enough to do so). Dogs are renowned for digging, and are amongst the best escape artists, but that isn’t the only problem we face, since theft is also a growing concern. Fortunately, there is one tracking device that can’t be so easily escaped- the micro-chip. This small electronic device stores your dog’s information, as well as the rightful owner’s information, for reference when needed.
Micro chips are tiny, normally no bigger than a grain of rice. The veterinarian would implant the microchip in between your dog’s shoulder blades, and is no more discomforting than their regular vaccination shot. Once under the tissue, the chip is virtually undetectable. Once the micro-chip is inserted, it becomes a permanent form of identification for your pet. Any veterinarian or animal shelter will be able to scan your dog, and quickly find out who needs to be contacted and where they belong, even if they don’t have their collar on.
Deter pet theft
This is extremely valuable in case of pet-theft, which is terrible, but still happens much too often. If the thief attempts to take the dog to the vet, the chip will inform the vet of the correct owner, saving your precious relationship. Because collars can be removed, this is the best way to deter pet-theft.
This tiny device has proved its worth by reuniting lost dogs with their owners. When found by shelters or veterinary clinics, the chip is scanned, providing their history, family information, and how to contact you. If your dog does manage to get lost, the chances of you finding them again are greatly increased through micro-chipping.
There’s an app for that!
Of course, the world of technology is advancing at an astounding rate, and is proving more useful to pet owners around the world. Apps are currently available for the IPhone that help owners find their lost dog. The app is called PetRescuers, and does require your dog to be micro-chipped to use the app. This app is designed to raise awareness by contacting via email and or fax other users of the app. Shelters and over 500,000 volunteers will receive information about your lost dog. This would incorporate fields about when you lost them, name, commands they respond to, your dog’s micro-chip data, and other relevant information needed to raise awareness about your lost companion. The app will notify those within five, ten, or twenty-five miles of your location, and will even send maps of where your dog was last seen (when they were lost). The large network greatly increases awareness, and is instantaneous rather than having to pin up “missing posters” or travel the streets on foot. The services are sourced through the HomeAgain call-center which is also staffed with trained professionals that can help you cope with the stresses of a lost pet, and even guide you through the process of reuniting you with your dog.
There are other websites that also provide services for micro-chipped pets. PetLinks is an international service, providing pet locating throughout the United States, Europe, and even as far as South America. 24PetWatch is a service provider that is currently active only in the United States, but provides pet locating services and recovery assistance that is needed to help find your dog. Though getting your dog micro-chipped for identification is important, it isn’t the only part of the identification process. In order to put the chip to full use, you have to register it with a pet locator. These services are free, and are a must for any pet owner. Once you’ve signed up with these services, your dog’s information will be in their database, and if they do get lost, the services will provide their linked locations with the information you currently have.
With technology becoming a bigger part of pet ownership, we will hopefully see more helpful tools that improve the well-being of our canine companions. Having your dog “chipped” can be more expensive than a tag and collar, but in the end, your dog is possibly one of the most priceless parts of your home